. tonight on "nightline," inside the storm. an unrelenting onslaught of more than 130 tornadoes are reported across the midwest. tossing homes and shattering homes over so many terrible hours. tonight the reason some survived while others did not. pitting working moms with ann romney front and center. the candidate and his wife sit down for an exclusive abc interview with our diane sawyer. and the ultra famous royal sister, smiling as the driver appears to aim a gun at photographers. tonight pippa middleton is under fire.
>> good evening. it used to be that survival in tornado alley depended largely on the neighbor yelling or a siren and a lot of luck. while science still can't predict where or when a twister will touch down, this weekend proved that warnings are changing with the time. the storms decimated entire neighborhoods, but the fatality count was blessedly low and it may have had a lot to do with language. here's ginger zee, part of our extreme weather team. >> 48 hours of terror. >> oh, my gosh! >> twisters ripping through the plains, sometimes two at times. >> two tornadoes! >> more than 148 tornadoes across seven states. spurred by a system so strong the storm prediction center
issued dire warnings days in advance of the storm. and then, minutes before the tornadoes hit, new warnings with stronger language. >> this is a life-threatening situation. you could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter. >> part of their attempt to push people into action. the warnings seemed to work. >> we have been listening because it's been bad all day long. >> so many scenes of remarkable devastation, but very little loss of life. >> when you came upstairs, what did you see? >> devastation. just devastation. >> could you believe it? >> it's hard to believe it, but i seen it before. never did i have to go through it. >> charlie hog escaped with his life, but his house was destroyed. what are you going to do? >> just rebuild, i guess. or find another home, one of the
two. >> reporter: across the street, paul lord is recovering, wounded and seeing his home for the first time since the tornado erased it, with his whole family inside. >> my son come out and looked. the tornado was right there. he said, you can't make it. let's get inside. it sucked him -- or it threw him through the door and down the hall way. it threw me out in the street. all six of his family members survived. >> this is just nuts and bolts, bricks and sticks. we got all the family safe, and that's -- we're truly blessed. >> reporter: still, six people did die over the weekend. just a few miles northeast in a different part of oklahoma. >> the sirens messed up, i guess. a lot of people didn't get enough warning. >> the warning was out, but sirens didn't go off early sunday morning. lightning shorted them out in an earlier storm.
then the ef-3 tornado with max winds of 165 miles per hour, hit. >> you can see with the lightning. when the lightning struck up, you could see it. it was huge. >> lacy got one look and started running. >> i hollered. is anyone out there? if you can here me, please wake up, there's a tornado on the ground. >> her scream became a siren for her neighbors, but she wasn't heard by all. the mayor says lesson learned. >> enk it worked. then you realize the technology is not as good as we think it is. a backup to a backup will save lives. >> reporter: sirens are intended for outdoor use only. there's no regulation from state to state, county to county on how they work or when they're sounded. when budgets get cut, they're often the first to go. >> tornado warnings can be issued when radar indicates or when storms are confirmed by
educated, experienced spotters or emergency officials. just look at this tornado we saw born in oklahoma. >> you don't see it touch the ground, but it's a full tornado. you can see some of it right at the base and then some at the top. when those two meet, that's how the tornado forms. we've called 911. >> the new noaa warnings are so important no matter how you get them. >> what we're attempting to do is communicate risks. often times people made a judgement about whether they're in danger based on their past experience. a lot of people don't have those experiences. >> reporter: what do you do when you aren't home? download an app that gives the noaa radio warnings via text. >> you always want to have multiple ways of receiving that information, then takes action on it, make the decisions that
could save your life. >> reporter: while no one can predict the number of tornadoes that touch down or the number of homes lost, it's hoped that with the new warning language, the most important number will continue to decline -- the number of lives lost. for "nightline," i'm ginger zee. coming up next, an exclusive interview with the romneys in which ann opens up over all that mama drama. did you know when heartburn, it's too late to take prilosec because... but it's but zantac® works differently. it relieves heartburn in as little as 30 minutes. in fact, so, when heartburn strikes, try zantac®
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democrat when the romney camp pounced. if you believe the polls, they need every female voter they can get. that episode touches off a skirmish in the ongoing mommy wars, what better time for ann and mitt romney to grab their first interview for tonight's your voice your vote. >> together for 43 years. they met at teenagers, married when she was still in college. five sons later and the final push to the white house, he still calls her sweetheart. >> are you i a diplomat to the world? >> she's done the most important task in our family by far. she's had primary responsibility for raising five extraordinary sons. they've married and are raising children of their own. >> as they move into center stage on the way to the nomination, we met up with them at fenway park.
i asked, can 16 grandchildren do my job? >> you want to do my job and ask your grandfather a question? what would you like to ask him? >> can you win? >> yeah, i can. we'll get that done. thanks, bill. >> there's something different for the two of them in this long political career. mrs. romney becoming a kind of sensation in an explosive debate after a democrat said this about her. >> his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. >> she responded with her first ever tweet writing, quote, i made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. believe me, it was hard work. >> do you think president and mrs. obama are biassed against mothers who work at home? >> you know, i don't. i think there was a comment that was made. it was an unfortunate comment. i believe a lot of women are
responding to that. >> it all happened in the middle of what democrats dubbed a republican war on women. there's now a 19-point lead among female voters for the president. >> you said it was a birthday gift to you to criticize you as a mom. >> that wasn't how i meant it. it was a birthday gift to me because i love the fact that we're talking about this. i love the fact that women are talking about deficit spending and the economy. i love that. for her to make a comment that, because i am a stay at home mom i don't know anything about the economy, that's where i think it was unfortunate. >> she said what she meant was, that the circumstances in which you were able to stay at home, were a lot different than many. >> of course they are. i will say, for me, financial security has not been a huge issue, but that doesn't mean i'm not compassionate. that doesn't mean i haven't had different challenges. everyone in life has their challenges. mine have not been financial.
i'm grateful for mitt for that. >> what about other policies affecting women? her husband changed position on social issues. frns, abortion. >> the women who have said we've had the legal right for 40 years, what do you say to them about no longer having that legal right if you repeal row versus wade? >> i would love the supreme court to say, let's send it back to the states, rather than having a federal mandate. let the states consider this issue. but i'm pro life. >> just this past weekend, the president saw another opportunity. >> to be as transparent as possible. >> i'm plying that romney has something to hide. president obama knew down a kind of gauntlet to you over the weekend. he said, release 12 years of your tax returns. >> well, the president is going to try to make this campaign about the fact that i've been
successful, that i made a lot of money. i'm not going to get into that. >> the romneys insist all of this is just a diversion from the president's vulnerability on jobs and the economy. >> this president has failed to get this economy turned around. he said just after he was inaugurated if he couldn't turn around the economy in three years, he'd be looking at a one-term proposition. he hasn't got the job done. 93% of the jobs lost have been lost by women during this president's term. this is a commin about getting a president that can get america on track again, make sure or kids have a bright future and we stop spending money we don't have. >> so it's game on to november, one-on-one, including another famous american campaign arena. >> live from new york, it's is the night! >> saturday night live, you've been asked.
are you going to do it? >> i hadn't heard we were asked until i read about it. but it sounds like fun. of course it would depend on the nature of the skit. i'd want it to be funny. >> who's funnier, you or president obama? >> i have no idea how funny hoo is in real life. people don't know me terribly well from the pranks we play and what it's like in a home with five boys, but most of our dinner-table events were involving humor of one kind of another and most of which can't be repeated on the air. >> so you watch saturday night live? >> yes. >> when people ask me, just how many piercings, do you have? >> jason is very good. i watch the skits that involve me. we tivo those, but right now we've been busy. >> busy preparing for the final road ahead on this campaign. as always, together. including today, which is her birthday. >> she got presents this morning
that she picked out the day before. >> favorite present? >> the favorite present, he got me a beautiful red dress. i might save it for the convention. >> really? >> i like it that much. >> our thanks to diane sawyer. just ahead, hey pippa, what's with the gun? ghborhood. i told you it was perfect for you guys. literally across the street from her sister. [ banker ] but someone else bought it before they could get their offer together. we really missed a great opportunity -- dodged a bullet there. [ banker ] so we talked to them about the wells fargo priority buyer preapproval. it lets people know that you are a serious buyer because you've been credit-approved. we got everything in order so that we can move on the next place we found. which was clear on the other side of town. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. with you when you're ready to move. if it's on the label, it's on your skin. new puristics works without those chemicals. it reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 97% of women in just 3 weeks.
for bridesmaids everywhere, pipel middleton has become the most photographed inlaws, but today's paparazzi run-in may make for uncomfortable moments both with the police in paris and the palace in london. >> it's a whole new side to a woman known mostly for her famous other side. as if pipel middleton's nickname, her royal hotness, wasn't already enough to make the palace blush. here she s the sister of the would-be queen, when the drive of her car pulls out a gun and points it directly at the paparazzi trailing right behind. the snapshots made the headlines in "the sun," faster than anyone could say god save the queen. >> if you point a gun at a camera, chances are, there will be a photograph of it. so it was ridiculous. >> duncan broke the story the
palace wants nothing to do with. they say they've never represented her royal hotness and they're not about to start now. >> there will be people in senior parts of the palace taking a very deep breath. >> this dangerous weapon, could it actually be a fake? that's what they told us today, when we paid a trip to paris offices of one of the hand some young french aristocrats spotted in the car with pippa. they invited us to see it, then changed their mind, saying they don't want to talk about the situation. one group is talking, the photographer who looked down the gun's bearel. he says he knew it was a fake. he says he never even felt scared. it's been along a year since pippa stole the show at the royal wedding. she became a cover girl in her own right. >> pippa became an instant model
of everything to women as soon as the royal wedding happened. she went into that church as the girl next door. she was the sister of the bride. she came out of that church, an international phenomenon. >> reporter: and created a huge public appetite for all things pippa. >> people are obsessed with who pippa is dating. people are obsessed when she's running a marathon. people want to see her skiing down a mountain in switzerland. we want to see everything. >> reporter: her every move has been tracked by the paparazzi to the point where her lawyers filed a cease and desist letter against the photographers who follow her everywhere. but this incident in paris is the first misstep for britain's most eligible bachelorette. >> since the wedding, she's had a flawless year. they haven't been able in any negative incidents. so sadly, certainly on the face of it, looks as though thanks to somebody that she's been hanging
around with, she's going to make headlines now for all the wrong reasons. >> the paparazzi have no hard feelings. one reportedly says he even touch pd the toy gun when they all pulled over to have a laugh. one person probably not laughing -- >> from kate's point of view, these are the sorts of headlines that they dread and certainly if the french police are involved, that will not go down well at all. >> reporter: but is it really possible the sister of royalty could go down for something like this? >> probably not. paris police say no one has formally complained and they're not investigating. though it's illegal to brandish even a fake gun in france, lawyers say pippa is not likely to take the wrap. so maybe her picture-perfect image will stay nearly perfect after all. >> thank you for watching abc news. we hope you check in with "good morning america." we're always online at abc news.com.